Category Archives: History

May Day In New York – 1936

Socialists & Communists Combine Their May Day Parade – 1936

Not Your Typical Deluded Socialist / Communist Gathering

One of Marchers In New York’s May Day Parade
New York – This marcher in the combined Socialist-Communist May Day Parade in New York today, May 1st, adopted this costume to demonstrate his point. 5-1-1936 credit: International News Photo

The original 1936 news caption writer left out one detail about this marcher: Nazi.

Theoretically, communists and socialists are not the allies of fascists. But in the mid-1930s Continue reading

New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker Gets The Cheese

Mayor Jimmy Walker Can’t Get To Switzerland – So The Swiss Cheese Comes To Him – 1927

Mayor Jimmy Walker with big swiss cheese 1927 photo Wide World PhotosMayor Walker Gets The Cheese
New York City – Although Mayor Walker was unable to visit Switzerland during his recent rip abroad, the greeting of the Swiss people was brought to him today, along with a 168 pound loaf of Switzerland cheese, the gift of H. Lindt, Staat-Presidente of the city of Berne. The gigantic loaf of cheese, which measures three feet in diameter and is larger than the wheel of a motor truck, was presented by Robert J.F. Schwarzenbach, the Swiss General Consul here. It is the first loaf to bear the imprint of Switzerland, the new name recently decided upon to distinguish the Swiss product from the holed type of cheese now being made in many countries.

Photo shows the presentation – Charles Koch and Paul Zulling, in native Swiss costume and left to right – Consul-General Schwarzenbach, Mayor Walker and James Byrne, Borough President of Brooklyn. Photo: Wide World Photos, 10-24-27

A Swiss Surprise

The cheese was originally to be given to the mayor at a banquet in Berne, Switzerland during Walker’s European trip. The gift was for the high regard the Swiss felt for the mayor and the people of New York. As the news slug mentions, Walker never got to visit Switzerland.

Upon seeing the gigantic cheese Mayor Walker half joked to his bodyguards Lieutenants Thomas O’Connor and John Howard, “Hurry up and get me a cracker.” They scattered to search for a cracker. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #125 – Singer Building At Night

A Sight You’ll Never See – The Singer Building At Night – 1913

Here is the Singer Building Tower in 1913 with its office lights ablaze in a photograph taken by Underwood and Underwood. The adjacent smaller towers to the right belong to the City-Investing Building.

For less than a year between 1908 -1909, the Singer Building, designed by Ernest Flagg, was the tallest in the world. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Building completed in 1909 took the tallest title away.

This magnificent New York City skyscraper vanished less than 60 years after its completion. Continue reading

What Happened To Celebrating George Washington’s Birthday?

The United States Used To Celebrate George Washington’s Birthday

Now It Is Ignored

How We Stopped Honoring One Of The Greatest Americans

The Life of George Washington Harper’s Weekly February 27, 1864

Growing up in the seventies, we didn’t get a “winter break” at school in mid-February for a full week. School in February was closed on two days: February 12 for celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday and February 22 for George Washington’s Birthday. That is if one of the days didn’t fall on a weekend!

Grammar school teachers made a big deal out of our two great presidents. We learned all about Washington and Lincoln leading up to the holidays. Washington secured our liberty and Lincoln preserved it. The two were somewhat distant historical figures, yet their importance was still to be held in some amount of reverence.

From the time he came to prominence during the Revolution, George Washington, The Father of our Country was practically worshiped by its citizens. This was true for nearly two hundred years, Washington was thought of and remembered as a great American. He was honored with place namings and later his own holiday.

That is until the late twentieth century when George Washington’s Birthday became the victim of bureaucrats.

How Washington’s Birthday Became A Holiday

George Washington’s Final Birthday 1799 Harper’s Weekly Feb. 25, 1899

George Washington’s Birthday was the first federal holiday to single out an individual’s birth date. Continue reading

Paul Cornoyer, Painter of New York- Washington Square Park, Winter 1908

Winter Snow Scene At Washington Square Painted By Paul Cornoyer

& A Brief History Of The Life Of The Artist

Impressionist and tonalist, Paul Cornoyer (August 15, 1864 – June 17, 1923) depicts Washington Square Park after a snowstorm circa 1908. Cornoyer’s strength lies in his ability to celebrate wet days. Many of his paintings feature rain or snow and its aftereffects. Cornoyer was a master at evoking a gloomy mood with interesting lighting effects bringing about an emotional response from the viewer. Continue reading

The Average New Car Cost $814 & Other Fascinating Factoids From 1924

In 1924, 3,650,000 Cars Were Produced In The USA Costing An Average of $814

10 Factoids From The New York Merchants’ Association

A typical fact filled issue of the Greater New York Bulletin of the Merchants’ Association of New York The February 16, 1925

The defunct weekly trade magazine Greater New York – Bulletin of the New York Merchants’ Association contains news and articles related to business affairs. The Bulletin did not just limit themselves to New York related items, but highlighted national and international stories.

Paging through the 1925 issues of the magazine, I found beneath the feature articles some very interesting two and three line factoids concerning statistics from previous years.

Here are 10 of these factoids with headlines reprinted verbatim, with my comments below them in blue.

1- Use of Telephones
The City of New York contains more telephones than all of South America, Africa and Oceania combined. Within this area lie the great English speaking commonwealths of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and the rapidly growing republics of Brazil, Argentina and Chile. There, too, lie great cities, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Capetown, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.

Verizon abandoned their copper lines in New York City a few years ago. How many years before there are no landline telephones, just cellular phones?

2- Nine Big Incomes
Only nine persons reported net incomes of $3,000,000 or greater for 1922, and four of these reported that their net incomes were greater than $5,000,000. Two of these in the 5,000,000 class lived in Michigan, one in New York and one in New Jersey.

Hmmm. Michigan? Calling Mr. Henry Ford? By contrast according to the IRS, in 2012, the top 400 earners in the USA reported average income of $335.7 million. Continue reading

A New York City Snowstorm In 2021 & 1857

Big Snowstorm. Big Deal. New York City – Then and Now 1857 & 2021

New Yorkers making their way along Centre Street during a huge snowstorm. The building is the Tombs prison.  February 1857 Ballou’s Pictorial Magazine 2-21-1857

“Congealed rain, frozen particles, precipitated from the clouds, and preserved by the coldness of the atmosphere in a frozen state until they reach the earth.” Continue reading

The Last Daughter of The American Revolution Died 160 Years After The End Of The Revolution

The D.A.R.’s Last “Real Daughter” Died in 1943, 160 Years After The Conclusion of the American Revolution

You may think that the Daughters of the American Revolution is a moribund organization that no one cares about anymore.

If that is the popular perception, then of course we at Stuff Nobody Cares About would care.

Louisa Capron Thiers as a young woman  photo: Daughters of the American Revolution

I had given the Daughters of the American Revolution as much thought as the nocturnal habits of the ocelot. That is until I ran across a 1925 article about Mrs. Louisa Capron Thiers who was celebrating her 111th birthday. Continue reading